A few days ago, a few of you thought I was dumping on Memphis. I did say the city is not an economic development success story, but it is perhaps my favorite place to visit in the American South. It has the best musical traditions, for instance generating Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash, all at more or less the same time, with many others later including Lonnie Mack, Isaac Hayes, and Booker T. It is one of the classic barbecue cities, most of all for ribs. Beale Street remains a wonderful place to hear music, as it is not nearly as ruined by tourists as Broadway in Nashville or Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It is also one of the American cities most likely to look as if it is still 1963, or is that 1957? Finally, Memphis is the starting off point for a drive down Highway 61 into the heartland of the Mississippi Delta, one of the essential American journeys and yes you still can hear rural blues music there.
If you have never done a three-day Memphis trip, I would strongly urge this upon you.